For most road cyclists, a saddle bag is almost like a permanent fixture on the bike. It stores your spare tube, tire levers, multi-tool, and other small items that you’ll need for a roadside repair.
And for that, some of the most common questions cyclists ask are,
What size saddle bags do I need?
Which type is the best?
Now, the saddle bag is a very simple piece of accessories. But choosing one that suits you might not be that easy sometimes.
Because there are literally hundreds of them in the market today.
On this page, I’ll guide you on how to get the right one and also provide some options for you to consider.
A Quick Glance : Our Favorite Bicycle Saddle Bags
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Bike Saddle Bags Buying Guide & Tips
For me, the materials used to make saddle bag is a huge make or break.
It’s essential to assess its quality and overall durability.
For one, I’d like to buy something that will last for a long time and if possible isn’t that pricey.
Secondly, I’d like to think that my things will still be okay even if it rains. So it’s vital to have a water-resistant or, better still, waterproof saddle bag.
Today, most saddle bags are made of nylon, polyester, leather, or sometimes synthetic rubber.
- Nylon is known to be weatherproof, and can easily wick liquid.
- Polyester is mostly acknowledged to be tear-resistant, which guarantees that the saddle bag will last for a really long time.
- Leather is used on the saddle bag’s exterior is also popular for its durability.
- Synthetic rubber materials are also good for their rainproof capabilities.
Another significant point to consider is the storage capacity.
You might not have realized it, but the overall storage capacity of a bike saddle bag is a big deal. An extra pocket is a huge bonus and may go a long way to help organize your stuff such as tire levers, spare inner tubes, multi-tool, and other accessories.
Fortunately, many saddle bag manufacturers make them in multiple sizes so that you can decide the right storage capacity for you.
Read More :
Value for Money Saddle Bags
Blackburn Grid Seat Bag
The Blackburn Grid saddle bag is a good alternative if you’re on a budget.
It’s small and compact, weighing just 68g, and made of very durable and water-resistant outer materials. The zippers are coated, preventing water ingress.
With a capacity of 0.4L, it has enough room for a spare tube and a pair of tire levers.
There’s also an interior pocket in case you’d want to separate your stored stuff.
Lezyne Road Caddy
Despite its affordable price, the Lezyne Road Caddy saddle bag is packed with remarkable features you wouldn’t want to miss.
This is a waterproof and very durable saddle bag made of high-grade nylon fabrics. It uses a thick and strong velcro strap for mounting below your saddle.
There’s also an internal pocket for you to keep your keys and other smaller stuff.
Scicon Elan 580
A saddle bag that offers plenty of storage space and a large opening for easy access. That’s what you get with Scicon’s Elan 580.
And while it may not be the most streamlined saddle bag on the market, you’ll love the space and accessibility it offers. Per the name, the Scicon Elan 580 has a whopping 580 cubic centimeters (35 cubic inches) of storage space.
Hate having to unpack everything from your saddle bag every time you need to get something out of it? Then you’ll love the Scicon Elan 580’s wraparound zipper, which offers a huge opening for accessing all of your stowed items.
The Scicon Elan 580 can be quickly attached and removed to your bike’s rails via a nylon strap, further enhancing accessibility.
Blackburn Barrier Micro
Hate the fact that you have to mar your beautiful performance road bike with a saddle bag, but accept the fact that a saddle bag is a necessity?
Then check out Blackburn’s Barrier Micro. This diminutive seat bag (it has just 15 cubic inches of space) tucks unobtrusively under your saddle, preserving the precious aerodynamics and aesthetics of your sweet road bike.
The Blackburn Barrier Micro attaches to the seat post with a velcro strap. This well-made bag features water repellent material with welded seams and a waterproof zipper. The Barrier Micro’s fabric is designed with reflective fabric for increased visibility while riding at night.
The size isn’t the only thing micro about this bag. So is its price tag, making this a great value saddle bag.
Evoc Seat Bag
Looking for a rugged bag that will add a little flair to your bike riding?
The Evoc is a nice option.
This saddle bag is designed from rugged ripstop nylon, ensuring that it will hold up to any kind of type of cycling your throw at it.
With 18 cubic inches of storage space, it offers enough room for the essentials while its wedge-shaped design keeps it from getting in the way. The Evoc attaches to your bag via nylon straps that wrap around the seat post and rails.
A zipper strap makes opening and closing the bag simple while an internal mesh pocket helps keep your stuff organized.
High Quality Saddle Bags
Silca Seat Roll Premio
The Silca Seat Roll Premio looks nothing like a bike saddle bag. But, actually, it is.
It has a BOA dial which helps to keep things tight and snug. There is flexibility for you to micro-adjust the tightness according to your liking.
It’s made with cotton canvas and is coated in hot-melt wax to make it waterproof.
It’s definitely one of the best looking ones around, albeit pricey.
Read More : Silca Seat Roll Premio Review
Timbuk2 Seat Pack
When you absolutely have to keep the gear in your saddle bag dry, then go with a bag that you can rest assured is waterproof.
The saddle bag from Timbuk2 will keep your belongings dry thanks to its weatherproof poly fabric. The roll-top closure keeps water out while at the same time allowing you to adjust the size of the bag.
Installation is also easy. The bag attaches to your saddle and seat post with a hook in loop attachment system that keeps the pack secure while preventing swinging.
When installed, this pack hugs the underside of your seat and safely away from the action. Best of all, the Timbuk2 Seat Pack comes with a lifetime warranty.
Fizik 00 Saddle Bag
The Fizik 00 Saddle Bag is the modern version of how a road bike saddle bag should look like.
From afar, it looks far from a saddle bag, but it can hold most of your essentials while you’re riding.
It’s made out of thermoforming construction that promises to be lightweight yet durable at the same time.
To keep your things safe and dry, it features a waterproof closure system and a rubberized zipper.
If you’re currently using a Fizik saddle, this saddle bag blends in seamlessly.
Castelli Undersaddle XL
Want a slightly larger saddle bag?
Then go for the Castelli Undersaddle XL.
This one isn’t your typical saddle bag because of its larger capacity. It can store multiple CO2 inflator kits, patches, spare tubes, and many more.
To assure that your things are protected, it uses wheel-spray and covered zipper.
If you’re in for a long bike ride, you might want to consider this saddle bag.
Cyckit is a New Zealand based company that specializes in producing high quality, plastic molded saddle bags.
The Aeroclam saddle bag combines a highly functional, well thought through design with good aesthetics. It looks will good on your saddle and only come into contact with your saddle rails. Nothing else.
It’s available in a small (regular) version as well as a large version which can store 2 tubes and a CO2 canister comfortably.
It’s one of those cool saddle bags that many cyclists don’t know about, but would definitely want to get their hands on one once they’ve seen it.
Large Sized Saddle Bags
Ortleib Saddle Bag
If there are one thing German bike bag manufacturers Ortlieb is known for, it’s waterproofing its products.
Ever since the company founder’s multi-day bike tour was ruined by rainy weather in the early 1980s, the company has devoted its designs to keep your gear dry.
Such is the case with this saddle bag, which is made from durable waterproof fabric and designed with a roll-top enclosure.
You can rest assured your precious cargo will be safe from the elements in this bag. Other features include multiple straps to keep the bag secure and stable and a reflector to help you stay visible in that rainy weather.
Ortlieb’s saddle bag comes in three color options: orange, lime green, and dark grey.
Silca Seat Roll Grande Americano
Sick and tired of trying to get the gear you need in that black hole you call your saddle bag?
That’s what you get with this innovative design from Silca’s Seat Roll Grande Americano.
This saddle bag offers an option to stuff it in the style of most saddle bags. The Grande Americano unrolls to reveal three separate slide-in storage pockets.
Load up spare tubes, CO2 cartridges, and a bike tool, then roll it back up and mount it to your bike’s seat rails using the seat’s BOA closure system, which Silca touts as being 15-time stronger and more secure than hook and loop systems.
You’ll never have to go digging blindly through your saddle bag again.
Arundel Dual Seat Bag
Arundel sells their Dual Seatbag in 6 color options, namely: black, grey, yellow, blue, pink, and red.
The name pretty much says it all, the dual in its name means it has enough room for 2 tubes, 2 Co2 canisters and tire levers, and other essentials you’ll need for your bicycle.
The overall body is made from nylon but, there’s an area in its body where it has a small leather patch for aesthetic purposes.
Topeak Aero Wedge Pack
The Aero Wedge Pack is another Topeak product you’ll surely love.
It’s made from a durable 1200D polyester that features water-wicking capabilities. Its compartments are expandable when you need extra storage space.
With an overall capacity of 1.97L, you won’t run out of space for all the things you carry along for a long ride.
To ensure your safety at night, the Topeak Aero Wedge Pack also includes a 3M reflective strip and a mount for your rear lights.
Salsa EXP Series Seat Pack
Just because Salsa designates this EXP series seat-pack as small, doesn’t mean it is. This isn’t a saddle bag.
This is a seat pack, with emphasis on the word pack.
With 183 cubic inches of space, this bag qualifies as a light bikepacking bag. It’s designed for rugged two-wheel tours with 500-denier coated nylon, water-resistant welded construction, and waterproof fabric.
The roll-top closure keeps water out of the opening. The pack secures to your bike via a seat post strap and a loop that wraps around the seat rails. The Salsa seat pack’s long shape can be compressed or expanded to suit your load.
Saddle Bag Rolls
Road Runner Bike Tool Roll
This saddle roll comes is made with durability in mind.
The exterior is made of waterproof tarpaulin, while the internal is made of durable nylon fabric.
There are 3 internal pockets of different sizes that can fit tire levers, patch kits, CO2 inflator kits, and even smartphones. In the middle is an elastic strap that holds your spare tube.
It fits securely over your saddle rails via a buckle closure system.
Blackburn Wayside Tool Roll
This saddle roll oozes the classic looks.
It’s made of durable waxed canvas and will survive harsh conditions with ease.
There are 4 internal pockets to organize your tubes, tire levers, mini tools, and keys. There’s even a zipped pocket for your cash and IDs.
Best of all, it comes with a lifetime manufacturer warranty from Blackburn.
Lezyne Caddy Roll
Simple and minimalistic.
The Lezyne Caddy Roll comes with 3 internal pockets, one of them with zippers for cash and loose change. You can easily fit a spare tube, tire levers, multi-tool, and keys inside.
Its single velcro strap, hook, and loop system makes it easy to mount on the saddle rails. Furthermore, the velcro strap can be removed if you want to keep them inside your jersey pockets.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I decide which size of saddle bag to buy?
- Standard. These are the ones that will fit a spare tube, 2 tire levers, a CO2 inflator and cartridge, and perhaps 1 to 2 more small items you might carry with you.
- Large. On top of what can fit in a standard saddle bag, large bags can typically fit another spare tube inside. Maybe you could fit your mobile phone inside as well if it’s not too big like the plus-sized Samsung and iPhones.
- Extra Large. These are mainly used by people who are on a road or backpacking trip. You can expect to fit 1 to 2 pieces of clothing and 3 to 4 more other essential items in addition to what I’ve just mentioned above.
2. What are the essential items to carry in a saddle bag when out cycling?
3. Should I buy a waterproof saddle bag?
From my experience, that’s not a must. However, it also depends on what you carry inside.
Most of the things found in a saddle bag would still be fine even if it’s wet, except for mobile phones and clothing.
Most saddle bags are made of nylon or leather and they’re not waterproof.
At best, they’re water-resistant. But if it’s a heavy downpour, the contents will get a little wet, which is fine.